Namibia Tourism Board greeted over 80 professionals for the destination’s first Namibia Academy May 31 to June 7. Participants from Europe, Asia and neighboring African countries including Angola, China, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, South Korea, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Zambia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. attended. Picasso Travel’s Samuel Seyoum was part of the U.S. contingent.
Networking was followed by a gala dinner hosted by Namibia Tourism’s CEO Digu Naobeb, during which the Minister of the Environment and Tourism, Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, delivered the keynote address and introduced new branding for the Board. Guests were invited to a preview of the Namibia Tourism Expo and a VIP dinner and awards ceremony in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital.
There followed a four-day fam for delegations from the USA, China, Angola, Zambia and South Africa. Some headed for Etosha National Park and others Sossusvlei’s magnificent dunes. Those taking their trips before the Expo included a group that enjoyed coastal catamaran sails and Cape Cross Seal colony, and some visited the enormous Fish River Canyon.
The “World Meets Namibia” event at the Safari Hotel Conference Centre allowed one-on-one meetings with 35 suppliers. Destination marketing companies, local tour operators, lodge, tented camp and hotel owners, hotel marketing companies and safari operators presented products and opportunities.
Representatives from Classic Safari Camps of Namibia, Gondwana Collection Namibia and Namibia Country Lodges showed their properties. Owners and managers came from the Hotel Heinitzburg, Gocheganas, Harnas Wildlife Trust and Guestfarm, Huab Lodge, Kalahari Anib Lodge, Kempinski Mokuti Lodge, Mt. Etjo Safari Lodge and Vogelstrausskluft Lodge.
Industry professionals met with Abadi Safaris & Bushcamp, African Sun Car Hire, Abenteuer Afrika Safari, Baraka Marketing, Camelthorn Transfers & Tours, Catamaran Charters, Desert Explorers, Exclusive Reservations & Marketing, Exotic Travel & Safari, Kuoni Private Safaris, Mule Trails Namibia, Namibia Travel Connection, Ndandi Safaris, Reservation Destination, Royal Tours Namibia, Sefofane Air Charters, Sense of Africa, Singuruve Safaris, Springbok Atlas, SWA Safaris, Tenna Express, Terra Nova, Tongai Safaris, Vulkanruine Tours and Wilderness Safaris Namibia.
Host airline was Air Namibia. Most stayed in the Hotel Windhoek Country Club Resort and the Safari Court Hotel Windhoek, enjoying a lunch at Relais & Chateaux’s beautiful Hotel Heinitzburg.